Almost Got the Blues

Cafe Rene open-air stage

Greyfriars Green Stage at Cafe Rene

It is almost that time of year again; the best week in Gloucester’s calendar: the annual Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival starts on Saturday!

To call this the best week in Gloucester’s calendar is high praise: there are countless excellent events happening throughout the city during the year. Just last weekend I enjoyed the Gloucester Quays Food Festival – if you are a foodie, maybe that is your highlight. This weekend also sees the carnival and next weekend there’s a new event that looks very promising: Gloucester Paint Jam, which celebrates the city’s burgeoning street art. Then of course, in September there’s the History Festival and Heritage Open Days for the history buffs (and a chance to come along to one of my guided pub tours). And that is just scratching the surface of the many excellent events hosted in the city.

I don’t deny that all of that is brilliant, but for me the Rhythm & Blues Festival is the perfect mix of pubs and music. This is the festival’s twelfth year and it provides nine days of free music, with over 50 live acts appearing over nine venues. Eight of these venues are pubs: Cafe Rene, Cross Keys, Dick Whittington, Fountain, New Inn, Old Bell, Coach and Horses and Dean’s Walk; the final venue is one of the city’s best cafes: Peppers in Bull Lane.

Some of the pubs only have music on one night, some host music throughout the event. Some acts are local, some national, some international. The final weekend is dominated by the legendary Cafe Rene all-day event on the Green Stage in Greyfriars, complete with beer festival and barbecue, but even then there are some excellent alternative options in other venues. For a full schedule of events see the web page here.

Cafe Rene Real Ale Fairies

Cafe Rene Real Ale Fairies

This is one week of the year when I tend to live down to people’s expectations and spend pretty much the whole week in the pub. It is bad for my wallet and bad for my liver, but very, very good for my soul. Bring it on!

P.S. If you are coming along to the Blues Festival but aren’t a regular pub goer it may be worth taking a look at my thoughts on the pub rules to avoid any embarrassing faux-pas….

Sons of the Delta in the Cross Keys - this year playing in Peppers and the New Inn on Friday 1 August. Lead singer Mark Cole also hosts the Cross Keys Open Mic on Wednesday 30 July.

Sons of the Delta in the Cross Keys – this year playing in Peppers and the New Inn on Friday 1 August. Lead singer Mark Cole also hosts the Cross Keys Open Mic on Wednesday 30 July.

Steve Kent at the Pig Inn the City (now the Lower George and sadly not participating this year). Steve will be playing the Cross Keys on Thursday 31 July.

Steve Kent at the Pig Inn the City (now the Lower George and sadly not participating this year). Steve will be playing the Cross Keys on Thursday 31 July.

The audience at Cafe Rene Green Stage

The audience at Cafe Rene Green Stage

Worried Men at Pig Inn the City, this year playing Cafe Rene on Wednesday 30 July.

Worried Men at Pig Inn the City, this year playing Cafe Rene on Wednesday 30 July.

*Note: all pictures taken during 2011 Blues Festival. I left my camera at home for the past couple of years to concentrate on drinking – I may try to do better this year.

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About Darrel Kirby

I am what I am.
This entry was posted in Events, Gloucester and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Almost Got the Blues

  1. Pingback: Nightlife: A Tale of Two Cities | Darrel Kirby's Blog

  2. Pingback: So That Was July 2014…. | Darrel Kirby's Blog

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